Thursday, May 26, 2011

APOGEE Somatic Phonics ™ - Masterful Reading for the Dyslexic

APOGEE Somatic Phonics™ is an integrated system developed for the dyslexic student to assure reading success. Recent studies have shown that sound can indeed stimulate the visual areas of the brain. Bringing awareness and attention to the sensation of sound vibration throughout the body when sounding a vowel, a consonant or a phoneme, allows a somatic impression that becomes translated into the visual symbol, phoneme or word. It is amazing to see the progress and the confidence a student develops when experiencing this successful integration.

Each vowel which is the "breath" of a word, and each consonant which is the "body" of the word stimulate specific organs and nerve networks. Specific letter sounding practices are initiated allowing one to confidently learn the distinction among letter sounds and letter names. Once the sound associations are clear, the visual symbol is introduced via a three dimensional object, once mastered, it is followed by its two dimensional representation. The students learn to 'see' (configure) with their ears and 'hear' (sound) with their eyes. Seeing, hearing, touching, perceiving, define the all encompassing scope of reading and the reading process. Herein is a truly integrated multi-sensory experience. Each letter read and sounded is evaluated via APOGEE Cognitive Kinesiology™ to determine if the letter brings about a stress response. If a stress response is found, a series of activities are initiated to address the specific finding. Once the stress response is abated, which is the result of the newly introduced experience of rebuilding the structure of the physical letter, one proceeds to view the printed word with renewed energy and focus. It is well known that one tends to avoid that which is painful or stressful. By abating the
stress association, reading becomes the exploratory experience it is meant to be.

The study posted below, although, pertains to the blind, is indeed related to the principles inherent and operative in APOGEE Somatic Phonics™. Sound translates to orientation in space and time which goes beyond just the 'seeing' with the eyes. Interesting to note that this bears a relationship to how reading is taught via braille to the blind person and how reading is taught via APOGEE Somatic Phonics ™ to the dyslexic student. For the dyslexic, sounding phonemes, is very much like sounding clicks as presented here, and likewise "light up the visual part of the brain," allowing the non-reader to integrate and become a master reader!

Twenty eight years of documented success define the APOGEE Somatic Phonics™ Program. Whole brain activities, integration of left brain and right brain functioning and perceptions, characterize the scope and range of program components. Reading via APOGEE Somatic Phonics™ becomes more fluid, word awareness and word knowledge are developed, comprehension improves, spelling improves, writing improves, the sense of one as being capable of mastery is experienced. With a new and masterful command of reading, interest in all other subject areas is expanded, focus is improved and grades soar to new heights. Improved reading performance is a Guaranteed outcome!

Rose Marie Raccioppi, MS FABI is State Certified in Regular and Special Education, Supervision and Administration. With advanced studies in psychology, education, cognition, stress management, and holistic health, her program offerings are comprehensive. In addition to her academic excellence, Rose Marie is an exhibiting artist, published poet and the Poet Laureate of Orangetown, New York. Her all inclusive studies have brought her to develop supportive programs integrating the academics and the arts. Consultations for parents, educators and teacher training, are offered in addition to individualized student services.

For more information: APOGEE Learning Enhancement Training Systems™ -

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Blind people can learn

to navigate like bats

by 'SEEING' objects

using clicks and echoes


Last updated at 3:02 PM on 26th May 2011

Blind people can learn to navigate like bats by 'seeing' objects from sounds reflected off them, a study has shown.

They make clicking noises with their mouths and listen to the returning echoes to make sense of their environment.

A few are so adept at the skill that they use it to go mountain biking, play ball games, or explore unknown places.

Blind leading the blind: Daniel Kish is now teaching others with sight-loss how to use echolocation.

Daniel Kish, 43, was the best performer during tests at the University of Ontario. He had his eyes removed at 13 months of age due to retinoblastoma, a rare blinding cancer.

He said he naturally used echolocation as a child to help him move around.

'People used to call it my "radar,” he says. I’ve been echolocating for as long as I can remember.'

Surprisingly, the echoes are processed using the visual part of the brain - not the auditory region that receives sound signals from the ears, scientists have discovered.

The university team carried out functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans to study the brain activity of Mr Kish and Brian Bushway, 27, who had also been left completely blind in childhood.

On the move: Daniel Kish said he started clicking to get his bearings from a very young age. He now teaches other blind people to use echolocation

Senior scientist Dr Mel Goodale, from the University of Western Ontario, said: 'It is clear that echolocation enables blind people to do things that are otherwise thought to be impossible without vision, and in this way it can provide blind and vision-impaired people with a high degree of independence in their daily lives.'

It may be possible for anyone to learn to echolocate like a bat, according to the researchers.

Bats emit a high-pitched sound while flying at night. The sound waves bounce off an object and send an echo back. Just as light waves provide information to our eyes for our brain to interpret, similarly the echo sound waves have impressions from the objects they bounce off of.

The sounds illuminate the environment acoustically, rather than optically.

'You can hear those imprints,' Mr Kish told Western News.

'You can hear the differences in the sound waves as they come back. So basically what you can do is extract information now imbedded in those sound waves. That information corresponds to the surfaces from which the sound waves bounce.'

He added that hearing is a 360-degree sense, whereas vision is limited to 180 degrees and that auditory information is processed more quickly than visual data.

The findings from the study were published in the online journal Public Library of Science ONE.

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